Bridging Open Work Permit
The Bridging Open Work Permit (BOWP) was created for Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC), and offers some dynamic changes that allow foreign workers to remain in the country to live and work. The Bridging the Open Work Permit was created to allow foreign workers to remain in Canada and at work while their permanent residency applications are being reviewed.
Bridging the Open Work Permit Requirements
The BOWP is available for specific individuals. To be eligible for the permit, individuals must have been under one of the following visas/programs previously:
- Federal Skilled Worker Class
- Canadian Experience Worker Class
- Federal Skilled Trades Class
- Provincial Nominee Program
- Caring for Children Class
- Caring for People with High Medical Needs Class
Individuals applying for BOWP must:
- Currently be living in Canada
- Possess valid status on a work permit that is to expire within the next four months
- Choose “Open Work Permit” as the type of permit they wish to apply for
- Pay the processing fee for the work permit and Open Work Permit holder fee
Bridging the Open Work Permits can be applied for online. There is both an Express Entry and Non-Express Entry stream that individuals can apply through.
BOWP for Express Entry
All supporting documents on the Express Entry checklist must be included when applying. A copy of the applicant’s Acknowledgment of Receipt letter must also be presented. The Acknowledgment of Receipt is automatically sent to applicants when the IRCC receives the application. Applicants do not have any restrictions to their employment or living locations under the FSWC, CEC, or FSTC programs.
Non-Express Entry BOWP
The Non-Express Entry Applicant works slightly differently than the Express Entry stream. Individuals will receive their Acknowledgment of Receipt Letter following the IRCC’s verification of applications being completed.
Provincial Nominee Program Bridging Open Work Permit
Individuals under the Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) must meet specific criteria. This includes:
- Applicants must not have restrictions on employment
- Applicants must provide a copy of their nomination letter when applying for the Bridging Open Work Permit
- Individuals’ work location on their work permit must be kept to the nominating province
Quebec residents are not eligible for BOWP. However, if you have a “Certificat de Selection du Québec (CSQ)”, you can be issued a employer-specific Work Permit with your current or a new employer. You will also not need to provide a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA).
Bridging Open Work Permit Processing Time
The processing time for a BOWP varies between different applications and the amount of extra information required (if any). On average it takes just 60 days to process a BOWP submitted online, and 100 days for application submitted manually.
Bridging Open Permit for Spouses/Common-law couples
Spouses and common-law partners of individuals applying for a Bridging Open Work Permit may be eligible to receive a Canadian work permit. Spouses and common-law partners must meet specific criteria to be eligible for the BOWP.
Requirement for Bridging Open Wok Permit for Partner / Spouse
- The BOWP must be valid for more than six months.
- The work permit holder must be employed in a job that is considered skilled.
- The spouse/common-law partner is eligible for a work permit only for the duration of the work permit held by the principal PNP applicant in spite of the skill level of the principal PNP applicant’s employment.
- For spouses/common-law partners of FSTC applicants, the BOWP holder must be working within NOC skill level B criteria.
- For spouses/common-law partners of CEC applicants, there are no prerequisites to be met by the principal CEC applicant with respect to occupation skill level.
The BOWP is a dynamic permit that helps foreign workers in Canada. It can help individuals remain living and working in Canada while waiting for their permanent residency application to be processed.
Application fees for Bridging Open Work Permit
Application fees for the BOWP are $155 for Work Permit processing and $100 for the Open Work Permit. If you apply manually, you may pay the $255 online directly here